Is 'Cargo Class' the New Low for Airplane Passengers?
In a word: No. But the crafty marketers over at flyadeal.com created a campaign around the "new class of service," saying, "you don't have to go to this extent to fly for less. "The website now says that the campaign was just for fun, and that they were 'joking.' Turns out this was an actual instance of fake news.
The marketing team likely got the idea from an announcement earlier this year from Airbus. It appears that Zodiac Aerospace is partnering with Airbus to make "cargo class" a real thing, as TPG's JT Genter first reported back in April. However, if you were excited at the prospect of being strapped in with your luggage or using a mail bag as a pillow you are going to be disappointed.
The renderings show Airbus and Zodiac working to create pods that could slide into an aircraft cargo hold. These pods could be installed and removed as needed. The mock-ups from the companies show configurations for sleeping berths, kid's play areas, lounges, conference rooms and even medical bays.
With airlines operating more and more ultra-long-haul routes — not to mention the constant hunt for new streams of revenue — "cargo class" has the potential to be a win for the airline as well as passengers. Being able to get up and walk down to a lounge area on a 15+ hour flight surely sounds like a good thing. For parents traveling with small kids on such a marathon jaunt, a playroom might be worth every penny the airline would charge.
While these options surely won't save you any money — the exact opposite of that is more likely — they could provide some welcome relief for passengers in the future. Zodiac hopes to make the option available for A330s by 2020. They also say they are studying options for the A350-XWB. We're also pretty sure if the airlines move forward with this, Cargo Class will certainly be rebranded to include words like Premium, Extra, Plus and the like — words that will describe what it's going to cost you in the end to enjoy a trip down in the cargo hold.